Kaufman: Could the city of Omaha decide the presidential election?

Former President Barack Obama won the district a dozen years ago, while Mitt Romney and Trump prevailed in 2012 and 2016. 

Downtown Omaha. Photo by A.J. Kaufman

Assuming Joe Biden secures Arizona and Nevada’s 17 combined electoral votes and nothing else, he reaches 270 votes on the dot and ekes out a two-point presidential election win.

Pennsylvania and Georgia also will likely end up in Biden’s column, while North Carolina leans toward President Donald Trump.

Any scenario merits mentioning Nebraska’s Second Congressional District, an urban area encompassing the City of Omaha and part of its suburbs. Maine and Nebraska spilt votes by congressional districts, an idea some feel other states should adopt.

Trump gained one electoral vote in Maine’s primarily-rural Second Congressional District, serving as the president’s lone gain in the entire Northeast.

Trump easily won the Cornhusker State — which has voted only once for a Democrat presidential nominee since 1936 — along with the less urbanized First and Third Districts.

But “Nebraska 2” and its one Electoral College vote went to Biden, constituting the former vice-president’s only victory in the Great Plains.

That is the difference between a potential 269-269 tie and 270-268 result.

Because of its competitive nature and proximity to battleground Iowa, candidates don’t ignore the area either. Trump held a massive Oct. 27 rally in Omaha. Jill Biden made a local stop in September.

Former President Barack Obama won the district a dozen years ago, while Mitt Romney and Trump prevailed in 2012 and 2016.

So after tense contests from Arizona, Florida, Georgia and Nevada, to Iowa, Michigan, Pennsylvania and Ohio, the 2020 presidential election may be decided in the Big O.